Speech to Parliament by South African
President Nomzana Naidoo-Green on the
Occasion of National Men’s Month 2307
(according to Ben Trovato)
Honourable Madam Members
Madam Chair of the National Council of Provinces
Madams of the Media
Ladies and Madams
In celebrating Men’s Month for the first time, it is important that we take a moment to recognise the contributions men have made to our country. All too often, we remember only the horror and forget that the pioneers of modern medicine, mining, construction, law and sport were all men.
But while it is this government’s policy to give credit where it is due, I believe it is equally important that our children continue to learn about the Great Argument of 2050, the Great Silence of 2060 and the Great War of 2100.
Today, fewer men than ever before are serving in positions of power. Every political party is headed by a woman. Women constitute 98% of our armed forces. Our national soccer and rugby teams consist solely of women. Building sites are full of women. Road crews and garbage collectors are all female. The scales of equality have been heavily balanced in our favour for the past 200 years (pause for applause).
Men’s Month honours those who voluntarily relinquished their grip on power all those years ago. We also salute their children and their children’s children, many of whom are right now preparing the evening meal and making themselves look attractive for when we get home.
Even though men continue to be barred from holding positions of political or economic power, the fledgling Men’s Liberation Movement is making headway. Earlier this week, I was informed that a man had been elected chairman of a basket-weaving collective in the Northern Cape. This is to be welcomed, not feared. Having said that, I give the assurance that members of the fringe Meninist rebel group are monitored at all times by our intelligence agencies.
It was our foremothers’ relentless demands for equality that gave us complete control, and I am not suggesting that we concede any of our gains. However, as sweet as it is, victory has come at a price. With the oestrogen in our drinking water and the weakening of the Y chromosome, our baby boys are little more than genetically modified baby girls. Whether this is a good thing or not is currently the subject of debate at national level.
While we all agree that men are not yet sufficiently evolved to be accepted as our equals, there are steps we must take if we hope to reduce the high rate of suicide among our young male population. Self-inflicted deaths often have a negative causal effect on foreign direct investment, particularly when it comes to defiantly patriarchal countries such as America, Germany and The Gambia
Already, there have been advances. It is no longer compulsory for men to donate their seed once a month. The last sperm bank closed its doors years ago and although sex is not illegal, it remains immoral. Today, most children are conceived through electrofusion. Admittedly, the process only breeds girls, but there is still freedom of choice. For women who prefer to fall pregnant the old-fashioned way, embryonic stem cell kits that produce synthetic sperm are available at state supermarkets around the country.
I am the first to admit that running a country is hard work. When I am called upon to take an executive decision about overthrowing a male president in a neighbouring country, I often think of my househusband and envy him his simple life.
At risk of being called a liberal, I would say that the time is coming for us to encourage our men to leave their kitchens, cancel their proctologist appointments and take a more active interest in the affairs of state. I fear, however, that it will be no easy task. Two generations of men have grown accustomed to living lives that revolve around children, cleaning, cooking and playing tennis on Wednesdays. We may need to offer incentives. Or, failing that, impose martial law.
The time for blame and retribution is almost over. Men’s Month marks a new era: an era of forgiveness, an era in which I hope to see men once again being treated as human beings and not simply as domestic servants, sex objects or things to hold the door open.
In closing, I would be remiss if I failed to point out that domestic violence has reached unacceptable levels. Our prisons, long since converted into shelters for abused men, are full to overflowing. In the spirit of Men’s Month, I urge all of you to use non-violent methods to help men understand what it is you want to say, mean to say, think what you mean and want them to guess what you think you mean.
Finally, when I retire at the end of my 10th term, I hope to see at least one male face in this august house.
I hereby declare parliament in oestrus. Happy holidays, girls.